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In , the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Reporters ask about the connection between him and Doniphon. Stoddard's story flashes back 25 years. Upon entering the territory as a young attorney, Ranse is beaten and robbed by Liberty Valance and his gang.
Tom Doniphon finds Ranse and takes him to Shinbone. Ranse's wounds are treated by Tom's girlfriend, Hallie, and others, who explain to him that Valance terrorizes the residents, and the town's Marshal Appleyard is powerless to stop him. Tom is the only man who stands up to Valance, stating that force is all Valance understands.
Ranse is determined that law and justice can prevail over Valance; however, Ranse begins practicing with a gun. Hallie, attracted to Ranse and concerned for his safety, tells Tom of Ranse's gun practice. Tom advises Ranse of Valance's trickery. Tom also makes sure Ranse understands Hallie is Tom's girl by showing renovations to his ranch house are intended for his marriage to her.
Shinbone's men meet to elect two delegates to the statehood convention at the territorial capital. Ranse and Dutton Peabody, the local newspaper editor, are elected, despite Valance and his gang's attempt to bully the residents into nominating him. Valance challenges Ranse to a gunfight to be held later in the evening. Tom offers to assist Ranse in leaving town, but Ranse stubbornly declines.
Valance and his gang vandalize Peabody's newspaper office and beat him nearly to death after Peabody ran a story about Valance's prior murder of some ranchers. At a saloon, Valance learns Ranse is waiting for him outside. Valance toys with Ranse, shooting him in the arm, and then aims to kill him, when Ranse fires his gun and Valance drops dead. Ranse returns to Hallie to treat his arm. Tom sees how much the two care for each other, and he retreats to his farm in a drunken rage where he burns down his house.
At the statehood convention, Ranse decides to withdraw his name for territorial delegate for statehood, concluding he is not worthy after killing Valance.
In an inception flashback, Tom tells Ranse it was he, Tom, who fired the fatal shot killing Valance, not Ranse. Tom regrets saving Ranse's life, because he lost Hallie to him; but, he encourages Ranse to accept the nomination and make Hallie proud.
In the present, Stoddard's political accomplishments fill in the intervening years; but his story will not be published as his entire reputation is based on a myth. As Stoddard returns to Washington, D. The conductor replies, "Nothing's too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance. Multiple stories and speculations exist to explain this decision.
Ford claimed to prefer that medium over color : "In black and white, you've got to be very careful. You've got to know your job, lay your shadows in properly, get your perspective right, but in color, there it is," he said. Filming in black and white helped ease the suspension of disbelief necessary to accept that disparity. Clothier , however, "There was one reason and one reason only Paramount was cutting costs. Otherwise we would have been in Monument Valley or Brackettville and we would have had color stock.
Ford had to accept those terms or not make the film. Another condition imposed by the studio, according to Van Cleef, was that Wayne be cast as Doniphon. Ford resented the studio's intrusion and retaliated by taunting Wayne relentlessly throughout the filming.
Wayne's football career at USC had been curtailed by injuries. He also ridiculed Wayne for failing to enlist during World War II , during which Ford filmed a series of widely praised combat documentaries for the Office of Strategic Services and was wounded at the Battle of Midway ,  and Stewart served with distinction as a bomber pilot and commanded a bomber group.
Wayne's avoidance of wartime service was a major source of guilt for him in his later years. Stewart related that midway through filming, Wayne asked him why he, Stewart, never seemed to be the target of Ford's venomous remarks. Other cast- and crew-members also noticed Stewart's apparent immunity from Ford's abuse.
Then, toward the end of filming, Ford asked Stewart what he thought of Strode's costume for the film's beginning and end, when the actors were playing their parts 25 years older.
Stewart replied, "It looks a bit Uncle Remussy to me. Now, I don't know if Mr. Stewart has a prejudice against Negroes, but I just wanted you all to know about it. I'm glad you made it. Ford's behavior " When the horses did stop, Wayne tried to pick a fight with the younger and fitter Strode. Ford called out, "Don't hit him, Woody, we need him. We both gotta be professionals.
Stewart received top billing over Wayne on promotional posters, but in the film itself Wayne's screen card appears first and slightly higher on a sign post. The studio also specified that Wayne's name appear before Stewart's on theatre marquees, reportedly at Ford's request.
The film's music score was composed by Cyril J. He told Bogdanovich that he used the theme in both films to evoke repressed desire and lost love. Though based upon the movie's plotline, it was not used in the film. Pitney said in an interview that he was in the studio about to record the song when " Bacharach informed us that the film just came out.
Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the top Western songs of all time. Liberty Valance was released in April , and achieved both financial and critical success. Edith Head 's costumes were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design black-and-white , one of the few Westerns ever nominated in that category.
Contemporary reviews were generally positive, although a number of critics thought the final act was a letdown. Variety called the film "entertaining and emotionally involving," but thought if the film had ended 20 minutes earlier, "it would have been a taut, cumulative study of the irony of heroic destiny," instead of concluding with "condescending, melodramatic, anticlimactic strokes.
What should have been left to enthrall the imagination is spelled out until there is nothing left to savor or discuss. The Monthly Film Bulletin agreed, lamenting that the "final anticlimactic 20 minutes Ford, who has struck more gold in the West than any other film-maker, also has mined a rich vein here," but opined that the film "bogs down" once Stoddard becomes famous, en route to "an obvious, overlong, and garrulous anticlimax.
Richard L. Coe of The Washington Post called the film "a leisurely yarn boasting fine performances," but was bothered by "the incredulous fact that the lively townsfolk of Shinbone didn't polish off Valence [sic] for themselves.
On TV he would have been dispatched by the second commercial and the villainy would have passed to some shadowy employer, some ruthless rancher who didn't want statehood. John L. Scott of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Director Ford is guilty of a few lengthy, slow periods in his story-telling, but for the most part the old, reliable Ford touches are there. Ford's best work. More recent assessments have been more uniformly positive.
The film is considered one of Ford's best,  and in one poll, ranked with The Searchers and The Shootist as one of Wayne's best Westerns. The New Yorker ' s Richard Brody described it as "the greatest American political movie", because of its depictions of a free press, town meetings, statehood debates, and the "civilizing influence" of education in frontier America. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about film. Theatrical release poster. John Wayne and James Stewart. Vera Miles and Stewart. Los Angeles Times. April 15, Calendar, p. The Numbers. Retrieved June 13, May 21, Parallax View. Retrieved September 10, John Ford: War Movies". Retrieved December 1, John Wayne. History of Western Movies. Western Filming Locations, Book 1. CP Entertainment Books. The New York Times. American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August Retrieved September 15, Variety : 6.
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A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed. Simon O. Willis Goldbeck John Ford. William H. Clothier Carl Manoogian. Hal Pereira Eddie Imazu. Darrell Silvera Sam Comer. Cyril J. Mockridge Irvin Talbot. Charles Grenzbach Philip Mitchell. Edith Head Ron Talsky. Paramount John Ford Productions. This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth. Marvin's Liberty Valance and Wayne's Tom Donovan are the two most charismatic cyphers to ever grace a movie screen - both seem two sides of the same coin..
But both acknowledge it's existence - Stewart's Ransom Stoddard refuses too, finally has to realize it exists, but brings civilization to the West with a lie - that it doesn't. Visually puny in comparison to the Monument Valley westerns, but this is one of Ford's hugest, most…. Johnson, and it principally examines the evolution from rugged frontier individuality to enlighten law and order.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is beautifully shot and stars two actors in the September of their years delivering sterling performances. John Wayne is much more than just a dead guy in a coffin, he's a vanishing mediator, a symbol of the unacknowledged violence of the foundation on which society rests. The town has changed so much since the arrival of the railroad a…. Review by nickusen 1. Leone said this was the film where Ford discovered pessimism.
Apparently this is the only Ford film Leone ever saw, but never mind that for now. It is certainly the bleakest in a canon typified by failures in victory, forced retirements, and the burial of truth to maintain a false but reassuring sense of order. The fallout presents him with the relief of not having taken a life but being tasked for exploiting that death for good, a dab…. He is a blessed man by Western standards.
In the first half of the film he is the triumphant character but as movie goes ahead his luck runs out. He is no longer the heart and soul and the pride of Shinbone. A young…. The Western. Less overtly flashy and cinematic than The Searchers , and takes a while to settle into its pace, but nevertheless a solid Western from John Ford.
Stewart and Wayne are a stellar duo, and Lee Marvin brings a charismatically brutish gravitas to the titular villain. I really liked this. It's subtle and quiet and thought-provoking in a different manner than the other Ford Westerns I've seen. What a cast! This movie has it all. Wild west action, drama, romance, suspense, comedy; you name it, this movie has it. The camerawork, lighting, and cinematography are all magnificent. The story is masterfully told, and the dialogue is so sharp, you can shave with the script.
Too many great characters to count. The setting is almost a character in itself. A film that embraces the idea that literacy and law are as important in taming the rambling American west as guns and grit, Ford's western bears rich themes that may feel pioneering in the well-worn genre. Remarkable for its ideas, cast, and collection of western narrative and visual conventions, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is a classic in every sense of the word.
The story begins with Stoddard and his wife returning to their former home for a funeral. Their they recount their history in the town of Shinbone, replete with its gun-toting bullies and larger-than-life….
Been a while since I've seen it, but this film is so god damn great. If you have a friend that doesn't like black and white films, show them this one. Review by Joe.
Occasionally too didactic—literally so in the classroom scene—but overall it strikes a rare balance between warmth and intellect. The debate section initially feels a bit tacked-on but I found it impressively murky, in moral terms. Probably haven't seen enough westerns to fully appreciate this.
I see it as Ford deconstructing the genre, but the violence and vast landscapes are usually my favorite part of these movies. Whilst I don't particularly love the western genre this stood out above most for me. It has John Wayne doing his usual thing but Lee Marvins character elevates this as a real scary villain.
The addition of James Stewart as a non gunslinging hero also added an extra dimension to a genre film which is usually just about the aforementioned Wanye or Eastwood shooting people. Classic Western, very stagebound by Ford's usual standards, but tells a compelling story with interesting characters, even if a few of them are a little overplayed. Wayne and Stewart, two stars well into their careers, appear alongside each other for the first time, and despite a bit of suspension of disbelief in the flashback about their ages, both put in terrific performances.
Vera Miles as the love interest doesn't get a huge amount to work with but does well with what she has, Lee Marvin is great as Valance, and way down the cast list is Lee Van Cleef, only a few years away from stardom in Italian Westerns.
One of those rare movies where each scene is better than the last. I'm ashamed to admit this is my first John Wayne movie, but im also glad this was my introduction. It's plain as day as to why he was a star.
He exudes charm and didn't even look like he was trying that hard. I though it might be a little jarring to see James Stewart in a western, as I've seen him in everything else but. But that worry was extinguished as soon as he stepped off the train.
He fits in so well in the time period. My one minor gripe is that a damn near 50 year old James Stewart is playing a bright eyed and bushy tailed young lawyer, but they do all they can to cover it up. All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling An easy way of seeing how….
Close to users submitted a list…. This list of personal favorites was originally assembled by Edgar Wright and Sam DiSalle in July , and is semi-regularly…. This list just from the edition,…. Films that…. Where to watch Trailer. Director John Ford. Otho Lovering. Farciot Edouart. Wally Westmore. Studios Paramount John Ford Productions. Genre western. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. When the legend becomes the fact, print the legend. The Western Less overtly flashy and cinematic than The Searchers , and takes a while to settle into its pace, but nevertheless a solid Western from John Ford.
Why aren't more people heralding this as one of the greatest movies ever made? It clearly is. A great Western, pilgrim. Uno de los mejores westerns de la historia del cine y punto. Rules: Generate a number from 1 to x via: www. Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category.
Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.